On March 6, The Israel Securities Authority was provided with a list of final recommendations concerning the initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the overall suggestions about regulation in the area of cryptocurrencies. The report was drawn by the Special Committee for the Examination and Regulation of the Issuance of Cryptographic Coins which had been formed in August of 2017 and included prominent Israeli scholars, scientists, economists, and reputable employees from different departments of ISA.
Dr. Gitit Gur-Geshgoren, ISA's chief economist and the head of the crypto Committee, said that their primary objective was to look for ways for properly balanced application of national securities legislation to the area of coin offering and crypto trading.
In March 2018, the Committee published an interim report that was intended for public discussion with high profile crypto entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Upon hearing out the point of view of all sides on that matter, the Committee decided to make certain amendments to the report before submitting the final version to Anat Guetta, the chairwoman at the Israel Securities Authority.
The recommendations featured in the final report
The final document contained 57 pages which included a detailed explanation of all propositions elaborated by the Committee. In a nutshell, the report stipulated that ISA should take clear measures towards establishing the legislative framework with regard to the following:
Establishing a special disclosure regime for initial coin offerings. The Committee suggests that the Securities Law of Israel must be applied to all endevors that concern ICOs and other offerings of cryptography-based digital assets. The proposal implies the establishment of specific requirements concerning the disclosure of information about the company that initiates the offering of a coin that can be regarded as security. The Committee also recommends that such offering should be regulated in the same vein as the crowdfunding initiatives. Before issuing this recommendation, the Committee has conducted a thorough study of similar practices in other countries.
Facilitate the establishment of favorable conditions for blockchain developers and entrepreneurs through the creation of special regulatory sandbox. This proposition was developed in cooperation with various Israeli ministries, which came to an agreement that the necessary legislative support should be provided for the companies and startups engaged in developing the blockchain-based financial products and services. The corresponding regulatory sandbox should be created for the purpose of elaboration and implementation of legal measures for protecting the interests of both the developers and the investors.
Develop a regulated trading platform for crypto assets. In the future, the platform will become an integral part of Israeli crypto infrastructure efficiently regulated by the Securities Authority as well as other government agencies. The Committee explains that the balanced and well-advised regulation is needed to mitigate the risks for all parties involved in coin offerings and trading in crypto assets.
A possible reason behind ISA’s interest in regulating the crypto sphere
Over the last several years, Israel experienced a gradual deflux of investment and a decrease in the overall flow of capital. Creating favorable regulatory conditions for blockchain companies could serve as an incentive for the business climate in the country. Israel has been taking particular interest in the cryptocurrencies and even considered issuing its own digital currency - the e-shekel - in 2017, but this initiative didn’t come to fruition.
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